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Ducks' Ryan keeps Games goal in perspective

December 29, 2009 | 10:55 pm
Ryan With two goals in a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, the Ducks' Bobby Ryan improved his chances of earning a berth on the U.S. Olympic team, whose roster will be announced Friday.

And while he clearly hopes to be in Vancouver in six weeks, he said he's more concerned with where the last-place Ducks are then.

"I just try to let my play do the talking and try to get this team out of the basement," said Ryan, who is tied with Tampa Bay's Ryan Malone for most goals by a U.S.-born player, with 19. "We'll worry about that when it comes. I'll be tuned into the TV like everyone else waiting for the announcement. And I hope to wear the colors in February."

But his 18th and 19th goals of the season weren't the only milestones Ryan, a native of Cherry Hill, N.J., achieved Tuesday. In matching a career high with three points, he also reached 100 points for his NHL career.

"Hopefully it's a stepping stone to a long career here in Anaheim with plenty more points to come. I hope," he said.

With or without Ryan, the Ducks could be prominently represented at the Games with Scott Niedermayer, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf expected to make the Canadian team; goalie Jonas Hiller in the running for the Swiss team and Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu under consideration by Finland. All six players will learn their fate Wednesday.

And while Anaheim Coach Randy Carlyle said Olympic aspirations can be a distraction, he believes his players have handled it well.

"The one thing that we've asked is their contribution to be here first and foremost," Carlyle said. "And if they make a positive one here, it enhances their opportunity to play there. But you can't help as a player to not think about it. And when your friends in your support group and the media talk about it, you're going to hear about it.

"But we ask them to be professionals and we try to deal with it. I don't think it's been an issue for our players."

-- Kevin Baxter

Photo: Saku Koivu, right, congratulates Bobby Ryan for scoring a goal during the Ducks' 4-2 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday. Credit: Lori Shepler / Associated Press